Project Overview

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) conducted an environmental study for the project, which would extend the 495 Express Lanes by approximately three miles from the I-495 and Dulles Toll Road interchange to the vicinity of the American Legion Bridge.

Virginia's 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension, also referred to as 495 NEXT, is being developed as an independent, stand-alone project that will be closely coordinated and compatible with plans for I-495 (Capital Beltway) in Maryland. 

The environmental study, which was completed according to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and 23 CFR Part 771, evaluated site-specific conditions and potential effects the proposed improvements may have on air quality, noise, neighborhoods, parks, recreation areas, historic properties, wetlands and streams, and other resources. The study began in April 2018.

Project Goals and Objectives

VDOT, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), developed the project’s goals and objectives through a comprehensive process that included a review of previous studies and recent or planned projects; an analysis of traffic, environmental, and socioeconomic conditions in the region; and feedback from the public and federal, regional, state, and local agencies through a scoping process.

The project will address the following needs:

Project Review and Approvals

The 495 NEXT Project’s Environmental Assessment has received “Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI)” from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and National Park Service (NPS). These findings enable the project to advance into the design and construction phase. Additionally, FHWA approved the project’s interchange justification report, a traffic study that includes analysis of traffic impacts and benefits associated with the 495 NEXT project. To learn more and view the documents, click here.

Schedule 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2025
Public Outreach Ongoing
Public Meeting #1 (June 11, 2018) June
Public Meeting #2 (May 20, 2019) May
Location & Design Public Hearing (Oct. 5 and 8, 2020) October
NEPA Decision/IJR Approval June
Final Contract 2021
Final Design and Construction Starts 2022
Open to Traffic 2025


The 495 NEXT project team has produced visualizations of what the proposed design might look like from viewpoints near the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Dulles Toll Road interchanges. To view, click here.

Previous Studies on I-495

VDOT has conducted multiple traffic and environmental studies along the I-495 corridor prior to 495 NEXT. Find links to previous reports here.

Public Information Meeting Presentation - May 2019 (PDF, 4.2MB)
495 NEXT Virtual Public Hearing Presentation 10/5/20 (PDF, 9MB)
Preliminary Concept - Design Year (2045) - 10/5/20 Public Hearing (PDF, 21MB)
Preliminary Concept - Interim Year (2025) - 10/5/20 Public Hearing (PDF, 3.8MB)
Frequently Asked Questions (Website)
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